Friday doesn't see much activity around here, so I'm going to post a video. This has some amazing animation. Eerie.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Wil McCarthy over at the Sci-fi Channel wrote an article about the science of the Silver Surfer, soon to be featured in the new Fantastic Four movie. This is where I kind of geek out, but I liked the article. Unfortunately it doesn't sound as if the movie does justice to the character, though this article isn't actually a review. Anyway, like I sometimes do, I am going to completely steal the article and paste it here. So, I'm feeling lazy.
Science of the Silver Surfer
By Wil McCarthy
The sport of surfing—first recorded by Western historians in 1779—originated in the islands of Polynesia and reached its full premodern expression in Hawaii, where it was an important and integral part of the native culture. It usually involved a 3-meter-long slab of smooth, solid wood, with no fins or other steering apparatus, on which the riders would stand or lie prone while the waves carried them to shore.
More importantly, the sport was practiced by scantily clad men and women of all classes, making it a uniquely fine social mixer that no doubt kept the islands' gene pools churning and vigorous. For this reason, European missionaries banned the practice during the 1800s, after which it enjoyed only sporadic expression until the early 20th century, when it underwent a global renaissance that continues to this day. The basic concepts of surfing have been generalized to other environments as well, so that we can now enjoy snowboarding, skateboarding, wake boarding, wave pools, stationary surfing, river surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing and even channel surfing.
One thing we can't do, though, is ride a surfboard through the vacuum of outer space. Fortunately, on June 15 we can experience that thrill vicariously, thanks to The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Writer Mark Frost and director Tim Story have returned to their Fantastic Four stomping grounds, joined this time by veteran Simpsons writer Don Payne to—for better or worse—bring more humor to the franchise. Lest we forget, though, the title character was actually dreamed up in 1966 by comic-book legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and throughout his checkered career the spit-shined "Sentinel of the Spaceways" has been cast in a variety of styles, from introspective and groovy to allegorical and millennial—to cold, sinister and downright apocalyptic.
Catching the cosmic wave
The Silver Surfer—a chrome-plated angel of destruction, devoid of human empathy and amped up with something called the Power Cosmic, was created by a godlike and very hungry being named Galactus (aka the Devourer of Worlds, the Ravager of Planets) to serve as his herald, henchcreature and all-purpose minion. In the story, the Surfer catches a wave to Earth to inform humanity that they're scheduled to be the next course in Galactus' never-ending cosmic feast. Not evil per se, Galactus is apparently a survivor of the Big Crunch following a previous Big Bang, and is thus older than the universe itself. Could this mean he's not subject to the same physical laws as the rest of us? Maybe, maybe not, but either way his energy is apparently woven so deeply into the fabric of the universe that we literally cannot exist without him. Conversely, Galactus can't continue to exist without consuming whole planets full of intelligent beings. This seems like something he might feel bad about, but fortunately he experiences no more remorse—or indigestion!—than we do from eating the live bacterial cultures in yogurt. Yum.
In the movie, the Surfer seems to have shed most of the internal conflicts that let him grow a human personality. He's not much of a herald, either, but simply races around the world mashing holes in things and otherwise wreaking havoc. Which seems a bit redundant, if the whole planet is about to be destroyed by a god, but what the heck. Anyway, he's got a reflective skin that makes him essentially indestructible. He can defy gravity and pass through solid objects and has no need for air, water, food or sleep. He has superior senses as well and is able to see objects of any size, from the cosmic to the subatomic.
The guy gets around, too. The Fantastic Four have a cool new ride in this picture—a nuclear-powered flying convertible called the Fantasticar that can fly at 500 mph and separate into four separate flying machines. But how can that measure up against the powers of an alien demigod? The Silver Herald has a headstone-shaped miniature starship that can move in response to his thoughts, exceed the speed of light and completely overcome the laws of both Newton and Einstein. It's immune from inertia, for one thing, so the Surfer has no trouble hanging ten at any acceleration.
How possible is any of this? At first glance, not very. First of all, I have to wonder how he sees anything at all when his eyes are perfect mirrors. They ought to reflect away all the light that hits them, like the world's most perfect set of welding goggles. He can also absorb and emit energy of almost any form, which again is at odds with his chromy appearance. Good emitters, like good absorbers, are usually black. I'm also not aware of any materials that are—or ever could be—as strong as the Surfer's skin appears to be, and as for the acrobatics and the high-speed travel, hey, where does all that energy come from?
But I do have a theory.
Measuring the matter of the man
Quantum physics teaches us that the vacuum of empty space isn't really empty at all but pervaded by an enormous energy reservoir called the Zero Point Field. If the Silver Surfer is able to tap into this energy source—essentially cooling off the entire universe by a tiny amount every time he lifts a finger—it would explain an awful lot about his abilities. This should have the effect of "thinning out" the vacuum and increasing the speed of light in the Surfer's vicinity, so it's actually the sort of testable prediction Reed Richards—aka Mr. Fantastic—could confirm in his laboratory.
Also, what if his skin isn't made of atoms and molecules at all, but is actually some sort of perfectly reflective spacetime barrier, akin to the edge of the screen in an old-fashioned game of Pong? If the Surfer's body is essentially a programming glitch in the information fabric of the universe, it might well be impossible to destroy, at least with the sorts of weapons human beings—and mutants—can bring to bear. Also, if it could reflect gravitational energy as well as photons, that would explain why he's so light on his feet, and it even suggests an explanation for his talent of sliding through buildings without damaging them. I.e., he isn't a solid object at all.
Finally, I have to observe that objects are free to travel at the speed of light if—and only if!—they have no mass. If we looked inside the Surfer's silver skin, I suspect what we'd find is ... nothing. If the Surfer is as hollow as the Tin Man of Oz, then even the Zero Point Field itself may roll off his back, leading to a phenomenon called the Casimir effect, which would allow energy and information to be manipulated inside him in "impossible" ways.
All this is very bad news for humanity, if you think about it, because while the Surfer could probably destroy the Earth all by himself, he's ultimately just a tiny appendage of the cosmic nightmare that is Galactus. Needless to say, anyone as smart as Dr. Doom would do well to cut a deal, while keeping in mind that it's hard to get blood from a stone, and even harder to communicate with a mirror. Still, a pretty face has a power all its own, and sometimes the least human characters are capable of the greatest—and most surprising—compassion.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Did anyone used to watch Gargoyles?
I loved this show when it was on. I’m not a huge follower of fantasy, but this show had me hooked with its nice mix of high technology, ancient magic, Shakespearian themes, gothic imagery, and crime drama.
In 994, a clan of Gargoyles, led by Goliath, has an uneasy kinship with the occupants of Castle Wyvern. They help the humans protect the castle from invaders while the humans protect the Gargoyles while they slept during the day. After a battle with Viking raiders, the Gargoyles were betrayed and cursed so that they would sleep until Castle Wyvern “rises above the clouds.”
Enter millionaire David Xanatos, who in 1994 buys the building and has it shipped and rebuilt brick by brick on top of his Manhattan skyscraper. The Gargoyles tussle with Xanatos and his robots, then move out to an old clock tower on top of the police station where Detective Maza works. It also turns out that Goliath’s mate Demona is alive and well and is pretty much evil after hating humans for the last thousands years.
As the series continued, Demona turns out to be magically linked to MacBeth (as in the king) so they would feel each other’s pain but neither could die. The Gargoyles encounter a host of other characters belonging to the “Third Race” such as Oberon and Puck as well as Native American deities, the Illuminati, an alien, a mad scientist (you always have to have a mad scientist), King Arthur, and even the Loch Ness Monster.
My only quibble with the series is that with the exception of Goliath, none of the Gargoyles start out with names. They all pick them from locations in New York after they awaken in present time so we get Broadway, Hudson, Brooklyn, and Bronx. Despite this, there is a great exchange between old warhorse Hudson and Detective Maza:
Hudson: Must you humans name everything? Nothing's real to you 'til you've named it, given it limits.
Elisa Maza: It's not like that. It's just that, well... uh... things need names.
Hudson: Does the sky need a name? Does the river?
Elisa Maza: The river's called the Hudson.
Hudson: Fine, lass. Then I will be the Hudson as well.
Yes, this was an afternoon cartoon and it was produced by Disney, but this definitely wasn’t Darkwing Duck or the Goof Troop. Creator Greg Weisman put a lot of effort into incorporating a lot of history and mythology into his story arcs. You also get a feeling that the characters grow through the series. They all start with a character trait like the fat one or the old one and then progress from there. There was no reset button after 30 minutes – previous situations affected everyone’s feelings and actions as the storylines continued.
There was also a lot of quality voicework in this series. Character actor Keith David voiced Goliath while Marina Sirtis was Demona, Jonathan Frakes was Xanatos, and Ed Asner was spot on as Hudson. The list continues with names like Michael Bell, Matt Frewer, Brent Spiner, Sally Richardson, John Rhys-Davies, David Warner, Laura San Giacomo, Frank Welker and Tim Curry among many, many others.
Click to embiggen.
There was a third year produced for Saturday morning, but the quality suffered because of staff changes and effectively ended the series. There was rumors floating around about a Gargoyles movie being produced, but I don’t believe that anything is now being developed. Currently, Greg Weisman is writing a series of Gargoyles comic books, so this rich world isn’t completely dead.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
...There was never a rainy afternoon when watching the movies, Return in particular, didn't seem like a good idea. I honestly don't think I actually saw Star Wars: A New Hope (didn't get that title until it's re-release in 1981, fact fans) until the mid-90s. But it hardly seemed to matter. Like Beatles lyrics, there's an extent to which most people just sort of "know" Star Wars. The movies have produced a body of cultural artefacts way beyond famous lines such as "Luke, I am your father" and "Feel the force". The lightsabre noise, Chewbacca's moan, the innate coolness of Han Solo - these are all part of the western cultural lexicon. It says something about the cultural importance of Star Wars that The Phantom Menace (worst movie ever made?) failed to destroy its place in the collective conscious.
Perhaps the real gift that George Lucas gave us with Star Wars is the "Extended Universe": the spin-off cartoons, comics, novels, and video games. It's a whole, coherent world with its own well-worked out history for sci-fi geeks to play in (for example I spent oooh, a good three hours of my work afternoon yesterday reading about the Sith online - I need help, clearly). Everythign that you ever wanted to happen in the movies (my list: kick-ass female Jedi, more lightsabres, almost no JarJar Binks, more political intrigue, convincing alien cultures) all exist soemwhere in the Star Wars Extended Universe.
And so, in the great tradition of this blog (will we reach 30 years?), I present you with this, my entirely subjective, totally self-referential, things I love about Star Wars (all of it, not just the first movie)
1. "You rebel scum"
2. Han Solo
3. The Emporer
4. The sound of Star Destroyers moving slowly past.
5. "I've waited a long time for this. My. Little. Green. Friend."
6. "I love you"... "I know"
7. The music (anyone else still get chills from the opening chords?)
8. The AT-ATs on the Ice Planet Hoth
9. The New Jedi Order novels
10. "These are not the droids you are looking for"
Post your own!
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
For those who signed up for the mailing, a bit of an inside update on where things stand on Babylon 5: The Lost Tales (whose production was hailed just this week in the new TV Guide under the "Cheers and Jeers" column) (and yes, we got the "cheer" part of that, wiseass)...I'll be flying back up to Vancouver toward the end of the month to supervise the dialogue looping and to start reviewing the finished CGI shots being created by Atmosphere. We've also designed a brand new title sequence for Babylon 5, which incorporates all of the major characters, and emphasizes the interconnectedness of the characters seen over the show. There will also be a separate set-piece placed just before the main title sequence that will tie back visually to our series finale, "Sleeping in Light," in kind of a tribute to the end of that volume and the starting of this one.
We're also finishing up the director's blogs and behind-the-scenes pieces, which will show Bruce, Tracy, Peter and our new cast members, with the former group commenting on both the future of B5 and their own memories and reflections on Babylon 5. There will also be meditations and tributes to the passing of Richard Biggs and Andreas Katsulas from their fellow cast members. The director's blogs will follow production from script through prep and shooting...though in some cases with a bit of an unusual approach. (I can never do anything serious with a straight face.) You see, there was something innovative and new and unusual and artsy that I wanted to do with this movie, but did the studio get the majesty, the novelty, the innovativeness of that idea? No, no, of COURSE not. But by gosh you'll get a preview of it here...and the world of SF will never be the same.
Now if we can only get Josh Whedon to follow Straczynski's lead and distribute new episodes of Firefly.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
The Joker first appeared in Batman in the 1940's. His character was inspired by actor Conrad Veidt's silent film "The Man Who Laughed". As a comic book villain, Joker has gone through several incarnations, the most disastrous being Caesar Romero's clownish portrayal in the sixties' television show. Nicholson gave us back some of Joker's menace, but only some. His portrayal was too much Nicholson being Nicholson.
But now we are being treated to Heath Ledger. I admit, I was wary when I heard his name. However, my doubts are slowly being worn away. Batman: The Dark Knight is in production, and the first of the images for the film are being leaked to the media.
Joker has evolved into one of the most evil figures in comicdom. Joker is genius incarnate, evil, seductive, the manipulative powers of Hannibal Lecter with the grandiosity of Adolph Hitler.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
This has some people a bit upset...other's don't get what the big deal is!
I found this on Zero Boss.....Wow..
The thing is....it isn't anything new. Sideshow has been doing stuff like this for years.
Why? Because it sells.
Why? Because guys like drawing stuff like this.
But when will these industries realize that there is a HUGE female fanbase out there and do the same for the MALE heroes.
Oh yeah..because most of us don't really care and don't really want pretend PORN and buy statues of half nekkid PRETEND heroes.
Let's not even get into the fact that the character of Mary Jane IS the worst written 'sidekick' out there.
I have no problem with over muscled and over boobed heroes...comics ARE fantasy after all.
But the 90's saw this stuff go over the top...Image Comics and that darling Rob Liefeld was one of the worst perpetrators of 'wank' art in Comics.
I think things have toned down a bit now.
Or maybe not.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
I managed to see the movie as my Mom's Day treat with MY mom.
I am always torn up about these types of films.
My husband has spent a lifetime writing about these movies. He usually knows the background inside and out and that has left him a tad cynical and usually unable to just sit back and 'enjoy' a show.
I don't see movies with him anymore.
On a level of pure entertainment...I really enjoyed it. It is a LONG movie and I probably could have done with LESS angst from Pete and MJ (I cannot stand what they did with her character).
But the action sequences are fantastic. Flint Marko is great...I like what they did with the character origin and the sand effects are simply amazing. It has a great comic book feel to the action...and the quips and one liners are VERY Spidey.
Venom is scary and I actually wish there had been more of the suit and Eddie Brock.
My main complaint is that the 'comedy' that they have tried to introduce feels forced and awkward. Though seeing Tobey Maguire try to be funny and SLICK was entertaining...I just didn't think the Venom suit would make you a total doofus.
I don't want to spoil it for those who have not yet seen the movie, but I really don't want J. Jonah Jamieson to be a comedic foil.
We meet Gwen Stacey in this 'episode' and I think they did a great job with her. The actress looks just like she should and I am glad they didn't TOTALLY dumb her down. She comes across as a genuine and 'nice' person. Pete should be with her and not frumpy MJ.
So I managed to enjoy it. I didn't look too deep and I didn't listen to all my husbands stories of behind the scenes news and all the issues and complaints that the 'real' fans complain about.
Let me know what you thought about it!
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Great stuff. The mythos has penetrated popular culture through the writings of Robert Bloch, Brian Lumley. Ramsey Campbell, August Derleth, Stephen King, Paul F. Wilson, and many others. It has even penetrated the pages of comic books...Batman's Arkham Asylum is a direct tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, the name Arkham being taken from a town created by Lovecraft.
With all this being said, why have we had no films that have been true to the original source? Where is a major studio production of "Call of Cthulhu", or Lovecraft's "At The Mountains of Madness"? The best we've been able to do is pull elements of Lovecraft and tack them to horror stories for effect. Carpenter's "At The Mouth of Madness" immediately comes to mind. "Hellboy" had strong mythos elements in it. Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead" trilogy was a loving tribute to the master. HBO produced a film noir tribute to Lovecraft entitled: "Cast A Deadly Spell", which was more an urban fantasy than anything else, but fun.
But for all that, attempts at filming Lovecraft's works have been miserable failures. Just rent such titles as "The Dunwich Horror", "From Beyond" "Die Monster Die", "The Haunted Palace", and "Dagon". And don't get me started on any of the drecht produced by Stuart Gordon. The best Lovecraft title produced so far is "The Resurrected", which is an interpretation of "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward".
So what is it? Why can't Hollywood get it right. Obviously Lovecraft has a following, not just among fans but among people who write and create film. In the past I would have acknowledged that special effects made "Call of Cthulhu" or "At the Mountains of Madness" unreachable for most filmmakers. But with digital effects, that's just no longer true. If they can bring "Lord of the Rings" to the screen, they can do ANYTHING.
So HOLLYWOOD, I'm over here waving my arms, give us a terrifying, well-produced version of "Dunwich Horror". Spielberg, how about taking on "At The Mountains of Madness", you're a natural for the project. Raimi, now that Spiderman has given you all the freedom you want, why not do "Call of Cthulhu"?
Hey, I'm only asking.
And if you haven't read Lovecraft...go read. Enjoy. Discover. Also, you might find a few of these links of value:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._P._Lovecraft(God bless wikipedia)
The Lovecraft Archives
Role-play gamers might want to check this out
And a magazine with Lovecraftian flavor, DARK WISDOM
Monday, May 07, 2007
Yesterday we hit the local comic book store as it was Free Comic Book Day. I don't think we actually picked up any of the free books, but picked up the last two issues of Astonishing X-Men, written by Joss Whedon and drawn by John Cassaday.
This was the job that Whedon was born to do. This is the best X-Men series probably ever written.
Whedon is obviously a long time fan of the series. His treatment of the characters is reverent. He remembers details from stories written twenty years ago. For someone who started back in the Claremont days.....this comic is better than sex.
Remember Colossus and Kitty? All the old baggage is there today....reminds me of my teen years reading the books.
Cyclops is still a messed up dude....but now he is messed up with Emma Frost.
I really cannot say enough about this book. The storylines are well crafted and filled with the great one liners that he does so well. He remains true to the characters and at the same time add and develops new traits or actions and they make sense instead of you going wtf! He respects the past hashing out of how their powers work. He tries to have their powers make sense.
He doesn't try to rewrite history.
Go read it. The best way to do so is pick up the Trade Paperbacks and enjoy them all at once.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Because they hate you, me, and everyone else who loves sci-fi, Entertainment Weekly have just published a list of the "25 Top Sci-Fi Movies and TV from the past 25 years". All I'm going to do is reproduce the list for you and stand well back...
25 - V: The Mini-Series
24 - Galaxy Quest
23 - Doctor Who (seriously, WTF?)
22 - Quantum Leap
21 - Futurama
20 - Star Wars: Clone Wars
19 - Starship Troopers
18 - Heros (yup. all not even quite one season of it)
17 - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
16 - Total Recall
15 - Serenity / Firefly
14 - Children of Men
13 - Terminator /T2
12 - Back to the Future
11 - Lost
10 - The Thing
9 - Aliens
8 - Star Trek: The Next Generation
7 - ET
6 - Brazil
5 - The Wrath of Khan
4 - The X-Files
3 - Blade Runner
2 - Battlestar Galactica
1 - The Matrix
You may now take your own life.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
I just came across this great article in AskMen.com and I just have to paste it here on my blog. It's all about scary kids in film. And when you think about it, isn't it completely creepy when a child is cast as a villain? I think so.
Top 10: Evil Children Movie Characters
By Ryan Murphy Entertainment Correspondent
For the last four decades, Hollywood has been evangelizing a message that bachelors around the world have known for hundreds of years: Children are evil. They wake you up before 8 a.m. on weekends, they spill grape juice on the interior of your new car and, if movies are to be believed, they have the ability to level entire towns with their eerie demonic powers.
Granted, not all children are like that, but why bother discriminating when your life is on the line?
Lock your door, pull down your blinds and read our list of the 10 most evil children movie characters.
Regan Teresa MacNeil - The Exorcist (1973)
Generally, we like films that feature women in nightgowns, but The Exorcist is a different beast altogether. Possessed by the Devil himself, Regan abuses priests, breaks out in boils, levitates, and spews pea soup across the room. Actually, aside from the levitation part, it sounds a lot like a typical Saturday night to us.
The film's special effects and intensity were considered so gripping that it garnered 10 Academy Award nominations. Take that, Bride of Chucky!
Most evil scene: Every moment is practically scarier than the last, but few are more evil than when Regan tells Father Karras, "I'm the Devil. Now kindly undo these straps." The movie was considered so disturbing that it was banned from video in Finland.
Damien Thorn - The Omen (1976)
Some children are good at spelling, others excel at climbing trees. Damien Thorn, on the other hand, is good at scaring the bejesus out of everyone around him. The offspring of Satan, Damien was switched at birth with the murdered baby of a wealthy family.
Not surprisingly, things don't improve much from there, as the little red-eyed menace causes a spree of death and devastation. Perhaps his most brutally malicious act, however, was helping to foist Damien: Omen II and Omen III: The Final Conflict on the unsuspecting public.
Most evil scene: Damien's nanny pledges her loyalty to the little brat by hanging herself during his birthday celebrations. Talk about a party crasher.
The Grady Daughters - The Shining (1980)
Like most Stephen King films, The Shining is full of horrifying images, not the least of which is Jack Nicholson chasing his family with an axe. However, none stand out more poignantly than that of the hotel's phantom twin girls. Adorned in blue dresses and white stockings, the girls hauntingly call out, "Come play with us, Danny. Forever and ever."
The scene was enough to make little Danny Torrance pass out and it nearly had the same effect on us. Were it not for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, The Shining might have turned us off twins forever.
Most evil scene: When Danny's mother suddenly understands the relevance of the word "redrum" upon seeing a reflection of it for the first time.
Henry Evans - The Good Son (1993)
They say evil has many faces, but in our nightmares, it looks an awful lot like Macaulay Culkin. That's why we were so pleased when Hollywood producers played against type and got the Home Alone star to play the despicable Henry Evans.
Seemingly perfect on the outside, Henry is evil incarnate just beneath the surface. He threatens to throw his cousin off a 15-meter high tree house and causes a 10-car pileup on the highway. In other words, he's just your typical preteen boy.
Most evil scene: Henry maliciously kills the neighbor's dog with a crossbow.
Charlie McGee - Firestarter (1984)
Played by the adorable Drew Barrymore, Charlie McGee has the unique ability to create fire with her mind. What could possibly go wrong with that? Since it's a Stephen King movie, the answer, of course, is absolutely everything. Charlie creates one out-of-control inferno after another as she and her father attempt to escape a government agency that experiments on humans with psychokinetic abilities. After being captured by a Native American assassin, Charlie must learn to harness her destructive powers in order help herself and her father escape.
We don't want to give away the ending, but suffice it to say the film didn't receive Smokey the Bear's two thumbs up.
Most evil scene: Charlie unleashes the full fury of her power after her father is shot... Drew Barrymore has since been sexier, but she's never been hotter than this.
Those strange, mutated babies - The Brood (1979)
Leave it to David Cronenberg to come up with the ultimate experience of inner terror. The trouble begins when a psychiatrist creates a radical new technique for patients to physically manifest their internal turmoil. For some, the manifestations result in sores and welts, while for others, they result in (what else?) a small army of deadly, deformed babies.
Slightly scarier than a surprise audit, The Brood features the most bloodthirsty toddlers in the history of cinema. An interesting side note: Cronenberg wrote The Brood while he was going through a particularly acrimonious divorce.
Most evil scene: Nola's mutant children appear and viciously kill her parents. Only a mother could love a brood like this.
The Children - Children of the Damned (1964)
Believe it or not, this movie has nothing to do with The Jackson Five. A sequel to Village of the Damned, Children of the Damned features six seemingly normal children with dangerous psychic powers. Think of it as Carrie meets The Brady Bunch. Unlike Marcia and Jan, however, these ber-creepy kids can paralyze innocent (and not-so-innocent) bystanders with their eyes. The trouble begins when the children escape from a high-tech lab in London and hole themselves up in a spooky, abandoned church where they must defend themselves against the government.
Most evil scene: The children prepare themselves for battle by creating a supersonic weapon out of a church organ.
Rhoda Penmark - The Bad Seed (1956)
Lying, theft and murder are all in a day's work for Rhoda Penmark, the original wild child. The blonde-haired beauty kills a girl to steal a penmanship medal and offs another to prematurely inherit a decorative glass globe. Rhoda gets her evil disposition from her grandmother, a notorious cold-blooded killer who murdered 20 victims. I, on the other hand, get my evil disposition from my low sugar levels (at least that's what my doctor tells me). Like her grandmother before her, Rhoda is also a merciless murderer who can't stop her deadly compulsion.
Most evil scene: Rhoda ruthlessly kills a janitor who knows far too much.
Samara Morgan - The Ring (2002)
It used to be that the worst thing that could happen to you when you watched a videotape is you'd return it two days late and be docked $4.99. And then along came Samara Morgan, the psychopathic little girl who would kill you for watching it in the first place.
Samara was kept locked away in the loft of a barn and was later murdered by her adoptive mother. Equipped with psychic powers (and a strange affinity for VCRs), she eventually comes back from the dead to wreak havoc on the innocent (kind of like a bad burrito, but with slightly more lasting consequences). As if her very presence isn't terrifying enough, Samara has long damp hair, a decayed face and generally smells like an old well. Among the film's most terrifying moments are when Aidan first watches the mesmerizing video, the pure look of shock on any of Samara's victims' faces and the few tense moments (teasingly seen from behind) before Noah is offed.
Most evil scene: Samara seemingly appears out of nowhere as Naomi Watts struggles at the bottom of the well. We always knew there was a reason we preferred tap water.
Isaac Chroner - Children of the Corn (1984)
Stephen King pops up once again in what is arguably the eeriest movie of all time (excluding, of course, the video of your prom -- but that was just sad). Isaac Chroner is a savage preacher boy who orders the children of a small Nebraska town to kill every adult in the vicinity.
On the negative side, he causes unimaginable bloodshed, but on the positive side, it's just Nebraska, so it's no great loss. The children worship "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" and get up to their old tricks when a misguided couple makes the mistake of driving through the eerily quiet town. The film contains a harrowing amount of bloodshed, including, most notably, the grisly slashing of a child's throat.
Most evil scene: When Malachai and the other children kill the adults at the local diner.
Is it just us, or is there something a little creepy about an 11-year-old actress who has all of Hollywood by the balls? Since 2001, the eerily mature Fanning has co-starred with Sean Penn, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro, Mike Myers, Alec Baldwin, and Julia Roberts in a series of well-received roles. Apparently, Pauley Shore wasn't the only celebrity who made a deal with the devil.
it's child's play
It's been over a century since little Lizzie Borden made beef tartar out of her parents, and children have been getting progressively scarier ever since. If Hollywood has taught us anything, it's that birth control is highly underrated. In the words of humorist Robert Orben, "Do your kids a favor -- don't have any."